Less deaths among older, vaccinated population; younger people dying
- Health Minister
By Vishani Ragobeer
Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony, has said that the pattern of COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths have been shifting from older people- many of whom are vaccinated – to younger people.
During his daily COVID-19 Update on Thursday, the Health Minister said initial surveillance in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic indicated that COVID-19 deaths were more prevalent among the older population and those older people with comorbidities (underlying conditions such as diabetes and hypertension).
These people, he explained, were at a greater risk of being diagnosed with the more severe symptoms of COVID-19. As such, many of them were hospitalised. If their conditions deteriorated, many of them would have to be sent to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where they would require ventilator support to help them breathe. And, unfortunately, the minister said some of those people who required hospitalisations, and later ICU treatment would die.
However, “that pattern is changing now,” the Health Minister said.
He explained that about 63 per cent of people in the older, over 60 population have been vaccinated with at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This group was given priority vaccination during Guyana’s initial vaccine rollout. And, he said there may be a reduction in the deaths in this vulnerable population due to vaccination.
In a previous COVID-19 update, Dr Anthony explained that vaccination would reduce the severity of the disease an individual may be diagnosed with, though they do not prevent an individual from becoming infected.
On Thursday, the Health Minister said, “What we have noticed over the last couple of weeks is that we have seen a change in the mortality patterns.”
The change, Dr Anthony said, is that more deaths are being recorded in the 40 to 50 age group. He also noted that there have been “a few” cases in the 30 to 40 age category and a smaller number in the 20 to 30 age category.
For the month of May alone, there have been 33 deaths thus far. Of that number, 13 were over 40-years-old but less than 60. There has been one death (34 years old) recorded in the 30 to 40 age group, and another death (29 years old) recorded in the 20 to 30 age group. Meanwhile, 18 deaths have been recorded for people aged 60 years or older.
“We have to be mindful that this is no longer a situation where it is just older people. We are seeing different ages and this is a trend we are seeing globally,” the Health Minister underscored, adding: “It is something that we have to be mindful of and if younger people or more active people thought that they would get the milder form of the disease, the new information we’re getting should tell people to be more cautious and hopefully we could avoid hospitalisation.”
Before, the Health Minister also highlighted that the vaccination rollout alongside the public’s adherence to the public health measures (wearing a mask, maintaining a social distance and constant sanitisation) would help to prevent transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease, COVID-19. When the transmission is prevented, fewer people can become infected.
Below is an illustration of the deaths reported in the month of May, thus far:
|SEX||AGE||DATE OF DEATH|